Labatt’s sponsorship deal with NHL in doubt
The most lucrative sponsorship deal in NHL history is in doubt
after an Ontario judge ruled in favor of Labatt’s claim that the
league reneged on its agreement with the beer company.
The Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday in favor of Labatt’s,
which claimed it already had a deal in place with the NHL before
the league committed to a $375-million sponsorship agreement with
archrival Molson Coors.
It was called ”a monster deal” by NHL chief operating officer
John Collins when it was unveiled in February.
”We are pleased that Budweiser’s sponsorship of the NHL will
continue,” Charlie Angelakos, Labatt’s vice president of corporate
affairs, said in a statement. ”Budweiser and hockey are a natural
fit. We look forward to a very productive relationship with the
league through the 2013-14 season and are actively looking for
opportunities on a team and grass-roots level to reinforce that
Labatt took on its beer rival in February when it filed a notice
of application to the Ontario Superior Court asking the court to
toss out the NHL’s new agreement with Coors.
Budweiser is owned by Anheuser-Busch, which is Labatt’s
corporate parent. Anheuser-Busch is also the sponsor for 22 of the
24 NHL teams currently based in the United States.
The news comes during hectic period for the NHL. Besides being
in the midst of the Stanley Cup finals between Vancouver and
Boston, the league is also dealing with the pending sale and
relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg.